CLEVELAND, Ohio — Texas Sen. Ted Cruz stood by his non-endorsement of Donald Trump Thursday, CNN reported.
The Donald Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee knew very well what Cruz would say and not say in his RNC Convention speech Wednesday night and they all allowed him to do so, according to Trump critics.
The Quicken Loans Arena erupted with boos and cheers from Trump and Cruz factions respectively when Cruz stated in his speech, “Don’t stay home in November.” He added, “Stand and speak and vote your conscience.”
Cruz stood by his non-endorsement Thursday morning telling Texas delegates that he is “not in the habit” of endorsing politicians who attack his family, alluding to attacks on his wife Heidi and his father Rafael during the primary campaign.
Wow, Ted Cruz got booed off the stage, didn’t honor the pledge! I saw his speech two hours early but let him speak anyway. No big deal!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 21, 2016
Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort avoided saying the campaign approved the Cruz speech, telling the The Washington Post Thursday morning that the Cruz Camp gave the speech to the Trump camp at 6:30 PM est. and that Sen. Cruz made a “mistake” by not endorsing Trump.
According to political brand management expert, Eric Schiffer, Cruz’s speech at the RNC was the “riskiest move since Diet Coke.” Schiffer, CEO of The Patriarch Organization, believes the betrayal of Trump was brilliant, however, and that Cruz’s strategy could very well succeed and help him ascend to power.
“Cruz will continue to speak about the core principles he covered in his speech last night and the need for Americans to stick to their conscience. He will keep addressing the issues core conservatives are committed to, with the overriding message of freedom — including the freedom to vote your conscience,” Schiffer told TheDC in an e-mail statement. “He will run with that motto and harp on key conservative values such as freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the freedom to choose healthcare.”
Schiffer also said, “If Cruz’s bet holds true, the critics who are saying he got booed and turned off the audience last night — which is true — will change their tune and say they were clapping for Cruz and dispute the video. This anti-Cola is likely to turn out brilliant.”
When asked by the Post about the Cruz camp’s saying that they told Trump’s people Cruz would not be endorsing two days before Cruz’s speech on Wednesday, Manafort denied that ever happened.
“That’s not quite accurate,” Manafort said.
Manfort was then pressed to clarify why the campaign gave Cruz such primetime speaking spot.
“Mr. Trump felt he finished second, he should have a good spot and he did. Donald Trump was trying to unify the party and he’s done that. I think, notwithstanding what Senator Cruz said tonight, the party came together,” he said.
The press did receive an advance copy of all the speeches for the Wednesday evening program from the Party at 8:20 p.m. est., about one hour before the speech was delivered.
Manafort would only say, “We got it very late in the evening and we didn’t make any judgment on it.”
Manafort denied coordinating the booing in the audience of Cruz saying that “it must have been “organic.”
However, a source told The Daily Wire’s Ben Shapiro that the Trump campaign received the speech “weeks ago.”
“We made this arrangement weeks ago regarding the speech,” the source said. “We said we wouldn’t cause trouble with the delegates, that Senator Cruz would give a speech, that Senator Cruz would not endorse. They agreed to that. That was always the deal. They saw the speech beforehand and knew what Senator Cruz would be saying. They offered no pushback on the speech whatsoever.”
Shapiro reports that the Trump camp had been negotiating with Cruz to become an advisor on Israel policy but withdrew the offer immediately follow Cruz’s speech.